NEWARK, NJ - Total team effort.
It's a cliché you hear quite often in sports, from players and coaches alike.
But the Blues gave the term new meaning Monday at Madison Square Garden.
While trying to protect a 2-1 lead in the third period, four Blues dove into the crease to give Brian Elliott all the support he needed as the New York Rangers took shot after shot trying to tie the game.
“Desperation. We gave them seven free looks at the same puck,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “When I was watching that, I thought ‘I’ve seen this before.’ When I got up this morning, I knew where I saw it. It was at the carnival.
“It was unbelievable. It was like 'oh they scored, no they haven’t.'”
The Rangers eventually did tie the game on the next shift, but the Blues took two points with a 4-3 shootout victory.
Photographer Bruce Bennett captured the goal mouth scramble with this amazing photo, which we shared with the players involved and asked them to tell us about this chaotic example of good teamwork.
Brian Elliott: “That was a key play for us. You don’t really expect guys to make saves for you. (Kevin Shattenkirk) made a huge save standing up and taking away the top corner there. Big save for him in Madison Square Garden in his hometown. I was the furthest guy away from the net. Guys kinda threw everything (at it). That’s the type of wins we need - everybody coming together and working for each other.”
Jaden Schwartz: “Look at (my) pad stack! I really didn’t have time to think. I think they had three or four whacks (at it). One of them hit me in the shin pads. It probably went on for about six or seven seconds, but it felt like it went on for a minute.”
Carl Gunnarsson: “That’s a lovely picture. I just saw a bunch of guys in the crease. I don’t know. We were running around. That’s just a picture of desperation…doing everything we can to keep the puck out of the net. Luckily we kept it out that time.”
Kevin Shattenkirk: “Honestly, when I saw the scrum, I was looking for the puck. I saw (Chris) Krieder kind of stepping out and getting ready to shoot. He looked into the spot where he was going to shoot, so I just kind of baited him into it I think and moved into it, hoping he was going to shoot it there. It wound up going right into my chest. I think (Gunnarsson) had two big saves before that. It was just a desperation play where you could see Brian just throwing his stick at it. It’s crazy. It’s a good team picture right there. You can see that we’re all bailing each other out and that’s what you’ve got to do sometimes.”
Joakim Lindstrom: “It’s quite the pile, huh? It was about to go in a few times, but luckily we made it stay out. It was such a scramble. The puck kept coming back into the crease. Every time it came back, it felt like another one of our guys came in to save it again. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”